Its been a long time coming, but its time I wrote about the exact steps I took to go from an unhealthy 205 pound college guy, to a lean 165 healthy machine back in 2013.
A few things really kicked off this weight loss adventure and made ALL the difference in terms of my success.
If you just did these two things, I could almost guarantee you would start to see the weight falling off of you, but I did more.
I decided it was time to switch up my diet as well, and this time I was ready to have my traditional nutrition viewpoint rocked.
If there is anything I’ve learned from losing 35lbs, its that your diet is the most important thing for weight-loss.
Your diet ends up being more important than how much exercise you do at the gym. In fact, if I was going to give you one simple tidbit for exercise: Just Move. It doesn’t matter what kind of movement you’re doing, just MOVE all day long.
We gain weight because we spend most of our lives sitting in desk chairs or on the couch watching TV.
If you get up every 30 minutes or every hour and just walk for 10 minutes, your life will be that much better. Now that that Gym vs Moving rant is done, lets talk about diet. I began researching which food regiments would have the most positive impact on my health and body fat levels.
It turns out there was an usual sounding “Ketogenic” or High-fat diet that appeared to be helping people literally burn away the stored fat on their body.
An ideal Ketogenic diet consists of about 65% healthy fats, 30% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. (For a 2,000 calorie diet, that comes out to be 144g of healthy fats, 150g protein, and 25g of carbs a day) Check out the Keto Calculator for more.
The idea is that after getting your body off of carbohydrates for around 2-7 days (usually shorter), your body switches to burning Ketones as a primary source of fuel.
Ketones are an energy source produced using the fat you store on your body and the fat you eat.
Literally, your body turns from burning carbohydrates as a primary source, to burning fat as a primary source. Isn’t this what all dieters want??
I realized I stumbled onto something that could be truly powerful in my weight loss journey.
Switching to a Ketogenic Diet, coupled with my active FitBit and MyFitnessPal use, had me losing at times 1-3lbs a week!
Now a lot of people wonder what kind of foods they should eat when they switch to a Ketogenic diet. I can admit, at first it seems difficult trying to figure out how to get that much fat in your diet.
Here’s a list of the foods I most frequently consume to stay in a Ketogenic state:
Grassfed Beef (80% Lean) or Atlantic Salmon if you want fish!
Avocados.. literally lots of Avocados (they’re a good source of potassium too)
Eggs & Bacon (Hey, Saturated fat is pretty much totally fine if you aren’t eating carbs and spiking your insulin levels)
If you’re into dairy, CHEESE! (I tend to avoid most dairy in my diet, however)
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Spinach, Kale (YOU NEED VEGETABLES AND FIBER!!)
Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Cashews
Sardines, Beef Jerky, Tuna in Oil
If you eat these things, it is likely you will stay in a Ketogenic state. They are high in healthy fats! The important thing to remember is to keep carbohydrates roughly below 13 grams per meal.
You heard that right, you can’t eat any bread, crackers, rice, or noodles on this diet. To get in a ketogenic state, you have to give up all the processed junk you love!
There’s sort of an amazing thing that happens when you give up carbs for a little while- you give up all the chemicals and preservatives the food companies add to your food.
Going Ketogenic is almost like a cleanse to start. Some people experience what Ketoers call “Keto-flu” in the initial stages of Ketosis.
“Keto-flu” is basically symptoms that may occur from the initial loss of electrolytes due to the water you let out when you being entering ketosis.
To enter Ketosis, your body has to burn through your stored glycogen (carb stores) and as it does this water is released from your body as well.
This is why it is extra important to keep hydrated while eating a Ketogenic diet.
I’ve actually never experienced Keto-flu, probably because I happened to have an adequate amount of electrolytes in my diet (Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium)
To make sure that you don’t experience “Keto-flu”, grab a few Powerades (THE ZERO SUGAR ONES!) and Chicken Bullion cubes.
Make yourself a nice Chicken Bullion cube broth and drink it down. Bullion cubes actually have a lot of the salt your body needs when it begins releasing excess water.
I have another theory about Keto-flu that isn’t accepted by everyone, but it is known that your body stores toxins in fat as a way of insulating it from your body.
When you enter Ketosis, your body begins tapping into these fat stores for fuel, and as a result your body goes through a “Detoxifying” phase due to these toxins now being released.
Just a theory of mine, but hey! If it is true, then a Ketogenic diet has an added benefit of ridding your body of the things that have been stored away from years and years.
**I also want to add that when you enter into Ketosis, you may actually notice some positive mood-boosting effects! I know I do. **
Some theorize its because Ketones are similar in structure to GHB.. though I’m not completely convinced bout that one.
Alright, now its time for the pictures:
And there you have it folks. From 200ish to 165 in 2-3 months. If you have any question, comment below and I’ll answer as best I can.
PS: If there is ONE thing I suggest you to do to succeed in weight loss, it is to grab a FitBit Charge or FitBit One. They are that helpful. Besides that, if you’re looking for more info, be SURE to visit /r/keto, that is the place that started my journey into Ketosis and quite literally changed the way I look at food.